Showing posts from 2009

Pattern Release: Sirenia Cowl

Sirenia is the taxonomic order that includes manatees and dugongs. The working title for this design was a bad pun from which I’ll spare you. This entrelac cowl is neatly finished with attached i-cord. Trendsetter Tonalita is a wool blend singles yarn with medium-length color runs perfect for entrelac on a small scale.This cowl is beautiful and designed to be practical as well.The i-cord edging will hold the cowl in place to cover your mouth, ears, and nose if necessary.Ravelry pattern pagehere. Pattern is $5 through my Ravelry pattern download store. No Ravelry membership required, payments processed through PayPal.

Knitspiration Guild FOs: Felted Soaps

For the December meeting of the Knitspiration Guild of Silicon Valley, I taught the guild how to make feltedsoaps in Spinnity's kitchen. Jasmine, Pam and her daughters, and Van were also there. It is super fun and really easy. I'm finding it rather addictive. It doesn't take very much roving at all. The shop where I work has put together kits with just the amount you need to make one. 1 oz bumps of a few different colors can make a LOT of soaps. I have lots left over from the workshop, a seller's permit, and a nascent Etsy shop, so I will probably be selling some of these. (Not these, but other ones.) I'll probably just miss the holidays. Great business plan, huh?


So, a whole lot of stuff has been happening this fall/winter. Several patterns released, lots of psychobilly and Phenomenauts shows with my new friends, DEVO, TMBG, Toots & the Maytals, being a SFSI supervisor, working a lot at the shop, learning some of my favorite songs on my bass guitar, cuddling with my kitties, and receiving a 14-lb wholesale shipment of undyed yarn. In my near future- dyeing 14 lbs of yarn & fiber, more Phenomenauts shows, more patterns to release, a brand-new website, and who knows what else. . .
If you want to know what's up with me on a day-to-day basis, I'm on Facebook and Myspace. (Yes, Myspace. It's where the music is.)

Pattern Release: Eureka Valley Mitts

So, this is my first Knitty rejection. Enjoy!
I knew I had to design something for this new yarn the day it showed up in my LYS last summer. It combines the self-striping colorways knitters love with a soft, almost mohair-like, Merino/nylon blend. These mitts knit up quickly, making them a great gift. In this colorway, they can brighten up your winters or take the chill off cold nights year-round without being bulky or frumpy. The bold slip-twist stitch pattern won’t get lost in the lovely halo of intensely colored fuzz. Photo gallery here. Pattern is $5 through my Ravelry pattern store. Payments processed through PayPal, no Ravelry membership required.

Pattern Release: Damask Cable Socks

These socks remind me of old damask wallpaper patterns, with their ornate curves in half-drop orientation. Deeply textured cables stand out in even dark yarns. The pattern flows harmoniously over cuff, heel, gusset, and toes.
Photo gallery here. The prototype was worked in Knit Picks Essential Tweed, now called Stroll Tweed. Excellent options available from your LYS are Regia 4-ply in Tweed or Solids. I used a US 2 (2.75mm) needle, and the pattern is written for 2 circulars or magic loop. Ravelry project page for the prototype is here, Ravelry pattern page is here. The pattern is $6 for a PDF download. Ravelry membership not required.

Free Pattern Release: Snowflakes on Mulberries Hat

A fancy name for a hat that’s quick, easy, and makes a great gift for anyone. The 6-fold symmetry of the decreases on top of this stretchy ribbed hat form a snowflake when worked in the ice-blue stripes of this shade of Silk Garden Lite (#2046). Photo set here, Ravelry project page here, Ravelry pattern page here. This project works up extremely fast, and I really enjoyed working with the Silk Garden Lite. It was nice to let it do its own thing after a couple of false starts with fancier designs. The snowflake thing wasn't even intentional. I just thought that 6 would be a nice number of paired decrease sets. :) The dk weight yarn makes the hat fit easily into a jacket pocket, and the stretchy ribbing means it fits almost everyone.
Free download now

Finished Yarn: Iris Laceweight Silk/Wool Blend

This is a laceweight chained 3-ply that I spun from the Iris colorway of Carin Engen's bombyx/merino blend. I anticipate having about 900 yards total from 4 oz.

WIP Roundup: Trellis & Leaves Shawl

I've made it to the edging on my Leaf & Trellis shawl. I'm a little concerned about how attaching the edging to the provisionally cast on stitches will go. Some of them are pretty fuzzy at this point. I haven't been working on the cat mittens, but maybe I will on my upcoming trip. I'm also itching to start a design project or two. I've got a couple of patterns almost ready to release, and a couple that need to be graded for multiple sizes. I'm almost to the heel on the 2nd toe-up handspun knee sock of a pair. The shopsample of my Sidewinder Hat pattern is in the shop, hard copies for sale are in the binder, and the class is on the schedule. The next class is going to be Nov 24th from 2-4pm.

FO: Wet Felted Vessel

More photos here. I took Carin Engen's "Faux Pots and Purses" class at Yarndogs last Friday. The thing I made in class was hilariously fugly. I made this Sunday night and I love it! The wool was Lorna's Laces combed top in Ravenswood. I'm making knee socks spun from the same fiber. This is a really fun project. Carin's supposed to come back to Yarndogs 4 times in 2010.

Sirenia Cowl- Test Knitter Needed

This is the Sirenia cowl, worked in Trendsetter Tonalita. The pattern has been professionally tech edited and is just about ready to go, but I'd like somebody to try the pattern before I put it up for sale. I can give you a free copy of the final pattern and provide the yarn at a reduced cost. Here's the color card for the yarn. And the color card for its sister yarn which should also work, Tonalita Fusion. If you've done entrelac before, you know it's hard to put down. I'm looking for somebody who can start soon and complete the project in about a week after receiving the materials. Your job is to follow the pattern exactly as written and contact me with any issues or clarifying questions you may have. If you happen to be an experienced knitter, pretend you aren't. I'm categorizing this pattern as "ambitious advanced beginner." Knit, purl, decrease, pick up stitches, and follow directions. If you are interested, contact me and I will pr…

Fuzzy Heads

I did a spinning demo at Ocean View Ranch last month. Recently shorn alpacas are so rockabilly with their little fuzzy heads! hahaha! I want to make the little sheep from the new book Itty Bitty Toysfor the same reason. I have to find some Cashmerino Astrakhan first.

Old FO: Basic Self-Striping Socks

I've got this pattern for picot cuff self-striping socks with a peasant heel written up for 4 sizes. I need to take some more photos and finalize the layout, then it's off to the tech editor. My philosophy on avoiding gaps on the peasant heel is different from the way I go about the same thing on heel-flap socks. I'm a firm believer in picking up extra stitches at the ankle for flap heels, but not a fan at all of picking up extra stitches at the ankle for the peasant heel. On socks with a gusset, the diagonal line of decreases hides the gory details of whatever happens in that corner. The extra stitches are also just a continuation of the normal stitches that get picked up off the side of the flap. On the peasant heel, extra stitches that appear out of nowhere are not attractive to me at all. I much prefer tightening things up with a little bit of duplicate stitch when the knitting's all done.

Nothing to See Here!

I've been knitting, but not much I can show right now. I'm waiting on a couple submissions. I've whipped up a really cute project, and I'm planning on having it ready to be edited by the end of the week. That one will definitely be self-published. Partly because I'm so eager to share it with you, and partly because the time for submitting fall/winter things to the online mags has long gone. I've been getting set up to wholesale hard copies of my patterns to shops. The Sidewinder Hat will be available at Yarndogs (that's the plan, anyway) and I'll be teaching a class on it. I'm working on the shop sample now, and it's just flying. I think it will be a great class because it has cables and directional decreases and chart reading. The stitch patterns are both written out and in charts, which I think makes it a good intro to charts.

Pattern Release: Sidewinder Hat

Announcing my first pattern for sale in my Ravelry shop, the Sidewinder Hat. Undulating cables sprout from the ribbing and disappear harmoniously into the crown shaping of this unisex design. Merino yarn makes this the ultimate warm and comfortable winter hat! Stitch patterns are given in charts and as written directions. Thanks to Abigail for technical editing. If you're a self-publishing designer, you should hire her. :)
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 3 skeins. Available at Yarndogs. Sample shown in color 15 (Putty).
Needles: Size US 8 (main), 16" circular + dpns, or 2 circs, or magic loop .
Size US 6 (ribbing), 16" circular, or 2 circs, or magic loop.
Pattern is delivered instantly as a PDF download.
More details can be found on the Ravelry pattern page, but feel free to contact me to ask questions if you are not a Ravelry member. The below purchase link will take you to PayPal and does not require a Ravelry login.

WIP: Meezer Mitts

These are Cat Mittens by Jorid Linvik, available as a Ravelry download. She also has patterns with fish, dogs, frogs, and birds.

I'm using Claudia Hand Painted fingering weight in Chocolate and Magic Elixir. The one on the left was knit on US 1.5 needles, and is too small. I've switched to size US 2, and I think they will fit fine but may be a little shorter than I'd prefer.

FO Roundup: Indigo Ripples Skirt and Be Sweet Cloche

I finished the Indigo Ripples Skirt a little while ago but didn't have a chance to throw it in the washer and dryer for a few days. It's from Interweave Knits Sping 2007 for any non-Ravelry folks out there. Make sure to check the errata. I'm super-excited about how it turned out. It's at Yarndogs now, but I got to bring home the Bonsai Tunic that'd been there for a couple months. I used Rowan Denim yarn and had almost 2 balls left over from what the pattern called for although I got gauge. I didn't do most of the usual modifications people do to make the skirt sit lower, but it came out a little bigger than expected (or I'm a little smaller than I thought) so it sits lower anyway. That's ok cause my thighs are big enough to need their own increases. :)

I did work the left-leaning increase in the lace section as SSSK cause it's easier and looks more like a K3tog. I also switched the directions of increases on row 25 to fit in better. I change…

Summer Recipe Dump

Which is much tastier than it sounds. ;)Sorry, no pics. We ate all this stuff way too quick.
I've been doing a lot of baking lately to keep myself busy. A month or so ago, I made this raspberry-rhubarb pie from the May Cooking Light twice in a few days. I used the frozen crust from Whole Foods, and it was fine. I would probably rate this recipe 5 stars (big surprise). Whole Foods sells boxes of powdered tapioca (next to the baking supplies) so you don't have to buy big tapioca and process it yourself. I didn't have the currant liqueur. I drizzled in some of the liquid from a jar of blackberry preserves.
I went with Maria to Gizdich Ranch at the end of June. We picked strawberries, olallieberries, and boysenberries. It was a whole lot of fun. I've heard fantastic things about their bake shop and juice as well. I made a couple recipes out of a Cooks Illustrated "Cooking For Two" book I bought at Cosentino's. The strawberry shortcakes were very sh…

WIP: Indigo Ripples Skirt

So I'm actually already finished with this except for finishing the i-cord and throwing everything in the wash.
WIP: Indigo Ripples Skirt, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Indigo Ripples Skirt by Kat Coyle, from Interweave Knits Spring 2007.
I didn't make most of the modifications other knitters have. (I'll describe these real quick- A lot of people cast on the waist stitch number for one size larger than desired then increase just until the hip stitch count for the desired size is reached. This makes the skirt sit lower. A lot of people, maybe most, lengthened the solid part to 15" from the waistband instead of 12.5" for a more modest look.) I don't mind that it sits at the waist instead of lower, and I don't mind that it might be slightly scandalous. If it comes out way too short after washing, I'll surgically insert a panel and wash it again until the amount of fading is about the same. A lot of people have changed the gauge for a slimmer fit.…

FO: Self-Striping Socks

Hand dyed self-striping socks.
Self-Striping Socks, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. I'm still here, I just haven't felt very chatty lately. If you see me, I could probably use a hug. I've finished a few things, but most of them aren't bloggable. I think I need an accountability buddy for getting patterns submitted or published. Things are starting to pile up, though I do think I'll be meeting some Sept 1 deadlines. I have a tendency to put off things that are just for myself. I need to get my business license to start putting things in my Ravelry shop which is all set up. I've got my free patterns off to the side over here ----------->
You don't have to be a Ravelry member to use the "download now" link. I'm beginning to learn the lesson that I need to speak up, take chances, and let other people help me. I got brave and asked somebody for a favor a couple of weeks ago and it actually happened! I'm moving into a supervisory r…

Vacation Photos are Up!

Did you know I was on vacation?
We went to Point Reyes, Mendocino, through the Avenue of the Giants to Eureka, then to Redding and Lassen Volcanic National Park.

Sundial Bridge, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
This is the Sundial Bridge in Redding. full Flickr set has more info and links for the places we went.

FO: Phenomenauts Socks

Ok, I'm jumping the gun on this one, but I'm at the toe decreases on the 2nd sock. They'll have to be done by tomorrow night for the Gilman St show. I've already had one band member ask for a pair. I may end up knitting 5 pairs of men's socks on size 0 needles by the time this is all done with!

Phenomenauts Sock, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. These socks also happen to be famous.
If you want to see embarrassing (I'm assuming, I haven't had the guts to look yet) pictures of me, you'll have to track down the print edition. Just for the record, there's an error in the article. The first Phenomenauts show I saw was just after we moved here, not before. They opened for The Slackers at Slim's. BTW, there'll be a Slackers show there on June 4, the night before my birthday. We skipped Mad Sin last night cause we're going to Red Elvises tonight. And May 30, the Devolutionaries are play…

WIP: Basic Self-Striping Sock

First one of these is done.

Self-Striping Sock, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. For the next one, I'm going to do the peasant heel on 60% of stitches instead of 50%. I'll be writing it up as a basic pattern for self-striping yarn. I'll even throw in multiple sizes! :)
Also, I'm trying to work out the logistics of how I would teach a class on dyeing self-striping sock yarn. The methods I use at home would have to be adapted for space and available equipment.

Valkyrie Mini Combs

With my first combed fluffball. This could be addictive! My friend in Austin blogged about a crafty garage sale she went to. I emailed one of the sellers and bought these! I'm still planning on spinning up some of this CVM and submitting it to Spin-Off's "Your Yarns." Five yards by June 1? I think I can handle that! The theme this issue is natural fibers to coincide with the UN's year of natural fibers. Spin-Off's taking it 1 step further since natural fibers are no big deal to handspinners! You have to do the fiber prep yourself, and only natural dyes are allowed.

Valkyrie Mini Combs, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

Pattern in Progress: Sidewinder Hat

Aran-weight Merino hat with cables.
Hat Back, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Here's another one that's just about ready to go. It's in Mission Falls 1824 Wool.

Pattern in Progress: Cabled Socks

Cable socks with patterned heel flap.
Cable Socks, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Ok, I've gone public with this one. Hopefully that'll give me the push to finally get this self-published. Assuming I'm feeling productive, I'll hand it off to an editor by next week. I'm planning on selling this one on Ravelry. I'd been thinking about submitting to Knitty, but the last issue has a pattern that was sort of similar.

FO: Bonsai Tunic

Bonsai Tunic by Norah Gaughan from Interweave Knits Spring 07.
FO: Bonsai Tunic, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Copying magazine pose. :P I swatched, knit, and blocked this anticipating some vertical stretch. We'll see how it looks after a couple months on a mannequin. Update: it looks great! Stretched out a little, maybe an inch or so, but definitely doesn't look saggy.

The Phenomenauts & Peelander-Z

Leftenant AR-7, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Above: Leftenant =AR-7= of The Phenomenauts
Below: Peelander Red

We saw Peelander-Z open for The Phenomenauts at Ashkenaz in Berkeley Friday night. They are insane and just have to be seen to be believed. We're going to this show really close to my house tonight. It's at an arcade in a strip mall with plenty of free parking. I may be biased, but I think it'd be impossible not to have fun. We'll be at El Pollo Loco before the show.


The Phenomenauts
Dan Potthast

ALL AGES $10 dos
7 door 7:30 show

1711 Branham Lane
San Jose, CA 95118
(408) 448-3323

WIP Roundup: Bonsai Tunic, Leaf & Trellis Shawl

Bonsai Tunic, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. I've been doing plenty of knitting,but not all of it's bloggable at the moment. I have 2 patterns that are almost ready to submit or self-publish, and I just finished knitting another design that needs to be written up.
I'm almost finished with the bottom portion of the back of the Bonsai Tunic. It's from Interweave Knits, Spring '07. I'm making it in Berroco Bonsai. It'll be a shop sample for a few months when I'm done with it. I'm halfway through the body of the Leaf & Trellis Shawl I'm doing in Malabrigo Lace. I try to do at least 1 repeat every evening before moving on to other projects. I've been spinning some of Carin Engin's merino/silk roving and it is delicious! It will probably result in a sample skein or maybe even a shawl at the shop. I apologize for the lack of cute cat pictures. Ziva is becoming much more sedate, but Rocky is a little beast. He's dragged garl…

Finished Yarn: Ravenswood

Finished Yarn: Ravenswood, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. 3-ply sock yarn from Lorna's Laces combed top. The rest of the 10 oz is going in the stash for a while. I'm ready to move on. There's 750 yards here. It may be time for another pair of handspun knee socks.

FO: Crochet Cheeseburger

Crochet Cheeseburger, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Cheeseburger with the Works by Beth Doherty from Amigurumi Super Happy Crochet Cute. Bobaknitters may remember this book as the one with "Strawbeary Slutcake." I finally got some ok colors for the bun and onions. I thought I was completely out of polyfill, but today I realized I had enough to stuff the buns. I learned a lot of different stitches on this project. It was really fun, but crochet makes me hurt if I try to do it for hours at a time.

FO: Handspun Triangular Shawl

FO: Handspun Triangular Shawl, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Handspun from 2 oz “February in Tacoma” batt (53% Alpaca, 25% Merino/Bamboo, 11% BFL, 3% Tussah silk, 3% yak down, 3% silk noil, and 2% angora). Bought at Stitches West 08 from Tactile. I am totally in love with this and can’t believe I knit it in a week. This is my first triangular shawl, and the pattern is from Knitting Lace Triangles by Evelyn Clark. The construction suits handspun very well. I also liked not having to do a knitted-on border. I am definitely inspired to design triangular shawls for the rest of my handspun laceweight stash!

While I'm Posting Photos of Myself. . .

Phenomenauts Officer's Jacket, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. I got a Phenomenauts officer's jacket as a Valentine's Day present to myself.

FO: Lizard Ridge!

FO: Lizard Ridge, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Obligatory lawn shot. I started this right after I moved to California and took it a skein at a time until recently. The last 2 or 3 panels were all done since January. Modifications: knit in strips, 5 columns instead of 4, 6 pattern repeats per skein instead of 4, 5 skeins per column instead of 6. Result: huge and wonderful! Details about colors used on Ravelry.

FO: Dream in Color Shrug

Dream in Color Shrug, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. It stopped raining today! Yay!
This is the Dream in Color Shrug in Dusky Aurora. This is the 2nd one I've knit. The 1st one was lost at the hospital when Bryan had his jaw surgery last summer. For this one, I shortened the ribbing for a single-thickness cuff. I did all the ribbing on a smaller needle. This wasn't part of the pattern, but it's probably pretty important for superwash yarn.

FO: Mermaid Jacket

FO: Mermaid Jacket, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Here you go! This is the Hanne Falkenberg Mermaid kit in color #10. Kit #10 comes with both pink and mustard for the contrast yarn. This is (obviously) the pink. I did a few modifications, mostly in construction. I did all the same modifications as this person.

I did a provisional cast on after the collar tab section so the collar and icord bind off would be done all in one piece at the end. I think having a seam in the collar and icord at the center back in the original is a huge design flaw. It was probably done that way to keep the difficulty level down. I never pass up the chance to use a provisional cast on! I did one for the sleeves as well, so the sleeve seam would be a true 3-needle bind off, instead of a weird hybrid in the original pattern. I cast on 10 fewer sleeve stitches than called for to shorten them. I also did a provisional cast on for the icord trim on the cuffs. Grafting that icord was one of the mos…

Cats Love Lizard Ridge!

Cats Love Lizard Ridge!, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. It's not raining, so I may take some real photos today!

FO: Mermaid by Hanne Falkenberg

2 Sleeves!, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion. Look, 2 sleeves! Modeled photos soon.

Project Roundup: Mermaid, Lizard Ridge, Cat Toys & More!

WIP: Mermaid Sleeve Done!, originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

The first Mermaid sleeve is finished and set in, and the second is being washed! If you want to see it (and me, lolz) in person, come by the Yarndogs booth at Stitches on Saturday the 28th.

I thought I had finished all the knitting on Lizard Ridge, but I decided to add a 5th strip. The shop had exactly 5 usable colorways that I hadn't used yet! The kitties helped me wash the strips and set them out flat to dry. I'm going to use a light teal shade of Cascade 220 Heathers for the crochet edging.

I finished the felted cat toys from the Tigger Toys kit by Knitwhits. Tina is a local designer. We just got a ton of her kits at Yarndogs. Her designs are so cute! I almost want to have a baby right now just so I can make the Flore hat. (And matching bloomers!!!) The cats fought over the mouse for a minute, then lost interest. The cats are becoming very interesting. Rocky got over his initial shyness and is now constant…